A transgene, flanked by zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) cleavage sites, was deleted from a stably transformed plant by crossing it with a second plant expressing a corresponding ZFN gene. A target construct, containing a GUS reporter gene flanked by ZFN cleavage sites, a GFP reporter gene and a PAT selectable marker gene, was transformed into tobacco. Basta®-resistant plants were regenerated and screened for GUS and GFP expression. A second construct, containing a ZFN gene driven by the constitutive CsVMV promoter and an HPT selectable marker gene, was also transformed into tobacco. Selected T0 plants were grown to maturity and allowed to self-pollinate. Homozygous target plants, which expressed GUS and GFP, were crossed with homozygous ZFN plants, which expressed the ZFN gene. Numerous GUS-negative plants were observed among the hybrids with one particular cross displaying ~35% GUS-negative plants. Evidence for complete deletion of a 4.3 kb sequence comprising the GUS gene was obtained and sequence confirmed. Co-segregation in F2 progenies of ‘truncated’ and ‘intact’ target sequences with expected reporter gene phenotypes were observed. Since ZFNs can be designed to bind and cleave a wide range of DNA sequences, these results constitute a general strategy for creating targeted gene deletions.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 8, 2010
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